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Posted on Sun, Jan 23, 2011 : 5:40 a.m.

Business Review's Rise & Fall: Mark Hodesh and Michigan consumers

By Staff

One is planning to open an open-air court for food vendors; the other could get swindled if Michigan's pricing law is repealed. Here are our picks for last week's winner and loser in local business news:

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Rise: Mark Hodesh

The simplicity of his newest plan for the space just west of his Downtown Home & Garden store belies the impact it could have on downtown Ann Arbor: He’s creating a commercial kitchen and an open-air food court with room for 10 food-cart vendors. All elements of this plan make it a winner: There’s entrepreneurial growth, business development and a new community gathering space rooted here. We love the idea for Mark’s Carts and look forward to the vitality it’ll bring to the blocks west of Main Street.

Fall: Consumers

Gov. Rick Snyder was spot-on during his first State of the State message last week, except for one item: His bid to end Michigan’s 35-year-old pricing law. Moving toward cost- and time-saving technology for retailers would be a benefit — but we’d like to see it happen within the framework of regulation that protects consumers. Even with the law, it’s not hard to find instances where customers are not charged the marked price. While some may see inefficiency there, we see too much opportunity to cheat. Any change must come with safeguards for the consumer and penalty for the inattentive or dishonest retailer.